President Biden’s campaign national co-chair Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said Sunday that Biden is “agile” and “faster on his feet than most members of Congress” amid criticism that the 80-year-old president isn’t capable of serving another term.
During an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” Coons told co-anchor Martha Raddatz that concerns about Biden’s age are unfounded.
“You were with me at the White House Correspondents Dinner last night – many of, there were thousands of folks in the room,” Coons said. “And Martha, he was fast on his feet. He was agile. He had great delivery.”
“You saw the State of the Union address – nearly an hour and a half,” he continued. “He was faster on his feet than most members of Congress. I think Joe Biden is agile, is capable. His record of leadership both at home and abroad, makes him eminently qualified. And we should be focusing some on the wisdom and experience he brings to the job, in addition to the accomplishments he’s had these first two years.”
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A new NBC poll found that 70% of Americans, including 51% of Democrats, do not think Biden should run for re-election. Almost half of the respondents who voted no cited Biden’s age as their “major” concern with him running again.
Asked by Raddatz about the poll, Coons deflected, saying the Biden campaign is only focused on the president’s accomplishments and setting him apart from former President Donald Trump, the current Republican 2024 presidential front-runner.
“Well, Martha, the numbers we’re going to be talking about are the 12 million jobs created in the first two years that Biden’s been president, the lowest unemployment in 50 years, the 850,000 new manufacturing jobs,” Coons said. “And I’ll remind you, our president often says, ‘Don’t compare me to the Almighty compare me to the alternative.’ When folks get polled on a head-to-head if Donald Trump should be the Republican nominee again, he wins and he wins decisively. Because two years later, President Biden is stronger. He has an incredible record to run on, and the former president is weaker. He’s been indicted, he spent years just re-litigating 2020.”
“I look forward to talking about the numbers based on what we’ve gotten done with President Biden in the White House on infrastructure, manufacturing, prescription drugs. It’s a great record to run on,” he added.
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A report Friday by Axios said some of Biden’s closest advisers believe the president’s age has “diminished his energy” and “limited his schedule,” and recent viral moments of the president appearing confused have added to the scrutiny as the president seeks re-election.
In February, Biden bizarrely boasted during a speech at the White House that “more than half the women” on his team “are women.”
In March, he accidentally shared details about former President Jimmy Carter’s health while speaking at a private Democratic fundraiser, before later admitting he “should not have said that.”
Biden’s also had trouble on multiple occasions while trying to climb the stairs to board Air Force One and has told stories that have been repeatedly debunked as false or were a complete fabrication.
Last fall, Biden raised eyebrows when he called out for a dead congresswoman at an event after he previously acknowledged her passing weeks prior.
“Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? She must not be here,” Biden looked around for Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., before continuing his speech. Walorski had died in a car accident in August.
Last week, the president was roasted on late night TV after fumbling through answers asked by kids during “Take Your Child to Work Day” at the White House.
Having trouble remembering he was in Ireland only days ago, Biden rambled, “The last country I’ve traveled – I’m trying to think the last one I was in – I, I’ve been to 89 – I’ve met with 89 heads of state so far, so, uh – I’m trying to think. What was the last – Where was the last place I was? It’s hard to keep track. Um, I was …”
Another kid helped him, shouting out, “Ireland!”
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In December, Politico reported that Biden privately lashed out at the media about their coverage of his age, saying he quipped to an ally, “You think I don’t know how f—ing old I am?” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended Biden’s age this past week when a reporter cited a CBS poll released earlier in the day that found only 22% of Democrats were “excited” about a Biden re-election bid.
“When it comes to age, it’s the same thing that we heard in 2020. Right? We heard that over and over in 2020. And if you look at what the president has done this past two years, he’s been able to deliver and get things done. Right? Where Republicans are trying to – Republicans in Congress, Republicans on the other side of Pennsylvania – are trying to pull us back, not move us forward,” Jean-Pierre responded.
Fox News’ Gabriel Hays, Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.